Coronavirus cases are surging across Europe and the US while India's infection rate dips

India has recorded its lowest number of daily coronavirus cases in three months but infections are on the rise in the US, Russia and France.

A waiter checks the final revenue as he closes a bar terrace in Paris on 17 October.

A waiter checks the final revenue as he closes a bar terrace in Paris on 17 October. Source: AAP

Governments across Europe have moved to set new curbs in motion to try to rein in a fast-growing surge of COVID-19 infections while the number of cases in India appears to be levelling off.

World leaders face an increasingly difficult task holding the disease at bay while keeping their economies afloat as they pin their hopes on as-yet unproven vaccines.

The United States, Russia, France, Sweden, Poland and other countries have registered record numbers of infections in recent days as autumn turns to winter in the northern hemisphere and people socialise indoors where the risk of infection is higher.

More than 43.4 million people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and 1,158,056 have died, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States leading the way in the number of infections and deaths.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets across Italy on Monday to vent their anger at the latest round of restrictions, including early closing for bars and restaurants, with demonstrations in some cities turning violent.

People light flares as they protest against the government restriction measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, in Rome Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.
Source: AP

In the financial capital Milan, youths hurled petrol bombs at police, who responded with volleys of tear gas.

In nearby Turin, luxury shops had their windows smashed and some were ransacked, leading to the arrest of 10 rioters.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was expected to approve measures to help companies hit by the new curbs introduced at the weekend after daily infections increased eight-fold in less than a month.

In France, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin warned the country to prepare for "difficult decisions" after some of the strictest restrictions currently in place anywhere in Europe have failed to halt the spread of the disease.

The Czech government will ask MPs to extend its emergency powers until 3 December, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Tuesday, as it tries to stem one of the strongest surges in infections in Europe.

There have been at least 8.54 million reported infections and 251,000 deaths caused by coronavirus in Europe so far, according to latest Reuters data.

The continent registered a record 230,892 new cases on October 26, up from 67,739 on 1 October.

Authorities in Russia, which with 1.55 million infections has the world's fourth-largest COVID-19 case load, ordered people to wear facemasks in some public places and asked regional authorities to consider shutting bars and restaurants overnight.

A COVID-19 patient is being carried into a helicopter at Flevoziekenhuis, or Flevo Hospital, in Almere, Netherlands.
Source: AP

New infections in Belgium, among the hardest-hit countries in Europe, hit a high of more than 18,000 on 20  October, almost a ten-fold increase from the high of its earlier wave of the pandemic.

The country is expected to decide by this weekend whether a return to a country-wide lockdown is required.

While Europe is struggling to contain the coronavirus, Asian countries appear to be doing a better job.

Hong Kong announced it would reopen public beaches and increase the number of people allowed to sit together in bars and restaurants as the city continues to unwind strict COVID-19 rules put in place in July.

India on Tuesday reported 36,370 new COVID-19 cases, its lowest number of daily coronavirus cases in three months.

The federal health ministry said it was one of the "several significant milestones" in the fight against the coronavirus.

The total number of coronavirus infections stood at 7.94 million in India, the second-worst affected country in the world after the US that has about 8.1 million.

The statement said 488 coronavirus deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours from Monday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 119,502.

The number of deaths has been below 500 for the second consecutive day.

In the US, the number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients is at a two-month high, straining health care systems in some states.

The US death toll leads the world at more than 225,300.

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Published 28 October 2020 at 6:14am, updated 28 October 2020 at 8:07am
Source: AAP - SBS